O.K any one who is left, don't kill me, I'm so sorry, but here it is. I just hope there are some people still reading this

Chapter 4: Why you don't insult dwarfs

The sun was rising over the intimidating peaks of the distant mountain range. The fellowship had been told was named the Traube. The mountain tops glistened in the early morning light, adding to the majesty of the surrounding landscape. The paved road the fellowship had first taken on horseback had petered out to a flat dirt track. The horses were moving over it at a quick pace, the dust flying up behind their hooves as the fellowship admired the land scape. Occasionally the revered silence was interspersed by the mumbled complaints of an irate elf

"I don't feel this is fair to the horse"

"You said that already"

"Yes but look at the strain visible in her face" Legolas continued The grey mare whickered gently and turned her head to face the elf who was addressing her. She licked his nose with her large wet tongue. Legolas pretended this hadn't happened and started another line of argument to propose to the obviously amused Ranger sitting behind him.

"I don't see why I should be forced to sit here in front of you on this horse like I was a...a" the elf trailed off.

"..a dwarf?" Gimli picked up for him "It's good enough for me but not for you your royal highness!" The rest of the company were surprised at the sudden anger evident in their companion's voice. They hadn't seen Gimli this annoyed at the elf for a long time. Legolas immediately apologised but it fell on death ears and the dwarf simply urged his dark pony forward leaving a flabbergasted elf in his wake.

* * *

The atmosphere about the fire that night was awkward as Gimli sat opposite from Legolas glaring at him with the fiery gaze of a hundred elf hating fore fathers Legolas was simply trying to look apologetic since all attempts to actually apologise had been ignored and the dwarf had began to make threatening movements with his axe. Aragorn was amazed at how quickly the situation had deteriorated, sure, dwarfs and elves had been enemies for untold years but Legolas and Gimli had forged a friendship in spite of this. The hobbits, usually sensible creatures had, to add to the difficulty, taken sides in the argument. Contrasting the silence of the previous two, their arguments rose above the flames.

"He's nothing but a stuck up snob" Merry shouted

"And *he's* nothing but a ground dwelling mole! Pippin shouted back

"Why you guttersnipe!" Merry grabbed Pippin's shirt in his fist

Before the Hobbits could come to blows Aragorn rose and separated them, picking them off the ground

"Alright, now every one stop it" he barked "Merry, Pippin, Sam, Frodo, all of you go back to the same side of the fire. And Gimli , Legolas has apologised enough, you move too!!" The hobbits sheepishly returned to the same side of the fire. Gimli remained

"Gimli!" The stubborn dwarf simply remained on the spot

"Not until he grovels"

Legolas' face darkened, elvan pride flaring up again

"I do not grovel.." he began "especially not to the likes of you"

The ranger could tell this was not going to be resolved easily. As the fire was extinguished and the fellowship began to go to sleep Gimli announced he was going to take first watch. Under the pretence of checking on their mounts the dwarf checked to see everyone was asleep. With the elves it was hard to tell so he waved a hand in front of Legolas' face, the blue grey eyes didn't even flicker Grinning, the dwarf implemented his plan.

* * *

Legolas woke up to the usual red fierily itchy torment he had been waking up to the past week. Trying to resist the urge to scratch he peered around the darkened camp site looking for the Ranger. As much as he disliked the cream Aragorn had made, the itching was getting steadily worse and he was sure it was driving him insane. Perhaps I can warm it over the fire, the elf mused as he spotted the Ranger and made his way stealthily over to him. Kneeling down and searching the Ranger's pack, a small frown dawned on his face. Where was it? He looked at the slumbering Ranger for a second Maybe the man was lying on it? Legolas thought hopefully. Rather than wake Aragorn, Legolas gently pushed him until the man rolled over, unfortunately since they were on a slight incline the ranger didn't simply roll over but instead continued to roll down the small hill out of camp until he was abruptly stopped by a tree. Unfortunately not even Aragorn could sleep though this and he awoke with a start, drawing his sword and looking about warily

"Uh, Aragorn", Legolas waved at the Ranger. "er.. sorry about that, I don't suppose you would know where the cream is would you"

Still confused as to how he had gotten down the hill he ranger nevertheless sheathed his sword and approached the elf.

"It should be in my pack" he said and picked it up to rummage about in.

"It's not"

The man creased his brow in thought. "I don't suppose we could have left it back at the city could we?"

"No, I saw you packing it" the elf replied.

"Hmmmm" the ranger pondered. "Well I doesn't matter, I can simply make some more," he said, pulling out his mortar and pestle and reaching for his herb pouch. A quick search of it confirmed that they were out of the particular ingredients needed.

"Something suspicious is going on here" Legolas nodded in agreement. "And I have an idea who"

Before Legolas could stalk off in search of the dwarf Aragorn grabbed him by the elbow. "Legolas" he said in a warning tone. The elf glared at him for a minute and then sat on the ground at the foot of a tree, checking for any suspicious three leave plants first, of course.

The ranger had some quick words with the hobbits and then set off, taking the grey mare.

Legolas was sitting with his head in his hands looking broodily at the forest floor. Suddenly a number of shadows fell across the ground and he looked up. There stood four hobbits, since he was sitting down, they were successful in towering over him, or at least being above head height.

"Now, we don't want any trouble" said Merry

"What?" the elf asked

"Strider said we were to look after you and make sure you don't do any harm to your self" Said a grinning Pippin

"So just don't scratch Mr Legolas" Sam put in and the Hobbits left.

Legolas remained sitting, plotting what he would do to the dwarf which had yet to show its face. However, poison ivy is a rather maddening thing and before long he was frantically scratching. The rising sun was darkened and he looked up to see four hobbits standing in from of him with little hands on their hips

"..." Said Legolas in surprise

"What do we do master Frodo?"

"I don't know"

"Well what would Strider do?" asked Pippin

* * *

"LET ME DOWN!" screamed Legolas.

The enraged elf struggled against the ropes which bound him spread-eagled against the tree. The hobbits looked on placidly as the elf bucked against the restraints in screaming in fury.

At that point Gimli materialised from behind the bushes and grinned at the prince behind the hobbits back. This seemed to make the elf more furious and he started screaming in elvish. The hobbits with the exception of Frodo who was grimacing slightly, were glad that they didn't speak the language.

Luckily for Frodo's ears the other hobbits decided it was time for breakfast and left the elf to his own devices. Gimli stayed a short time longer, grinning infuriatingly before following the hobbits.

Legolas, now alone, finally calmed down and stopped yelling. Thoughtfully he tested the rope, it had been bound tightly at the wrists and ankles by each of the four hobbits. Deciding to call on his magical elvan ability to commune with nature, Legolas tried to persuade the tree to bend so he could free his hands. Unfortunately for Legolas, the tree hadn't seen an elf in years and was quite enjoying the company. Starved for attention it tightened its branches around him. A pair of red squirrels did however come down from the boughs and decided to perch upon his head. An impassive elvan expression settled over his face

* * *

When Aragorn returned it was some time after noon. He had been able to find all the herbs he needed. As he entered the camp he found the hobbits asleep around various food scraps. It looked like they had eaten half of their food supply. Neither Gimli nor Legolas were anywhere to be seen.

"Gimli! Legolas!"

Gimli walked out from the eastern side of the camp

"Where's Legolas" the ranger inquired

The dwarf simply pointed at the western side of the forest. The confused ranger headed off in that direction. He found the elf bound to a tree, two squirrels nesting in his hair. As he began to walk towards the elf he realised he was giving him the evil eye.

Legolas shook off the sleeping squirrels who scampered back up the tree and continued to glare at the Ranger.

Aragorn had been trying not to laugh and a smile quirked at the corner of his lips as he finally reached the elf unbound his arm and legs. Legolas rubbed his wrists.

"It's a bit extreme I'll admit." Aragorn trailed off as Legolas stormed off in the direction of camp

"I hope he doesn't do anything too disabling to the hobbits" said the ranger and trotted after him.

The tree alone again, sighed with disappointment as the squirrels settled back into her branches.